Sunday, September 12, 2010

Determined focus on its way

I've been working on my determined focus for the school week. Because ds tends to just try to get through work really quickly to go have fun, I decided to have him do a schedule tomorrow. Yes, horribly un-Montessori of me; however, it does kind of fit with my feeling to incorporate a bit of Charlotte Mason into the mix.

Here's his schedule for tomorrow (Monday):

8:45 - French
-spelling/grammar workbook
-reading or writing, his choice

9:15 - Math
-place value lesson, then do worksheet and/or create his own numbers

9:45 - break time for everybody

10:00 - Science
-look through library books, make a poster of things learned, find an experiment, his choice

10:30 - Social Studies
-work on learning the name and location of 5-10 states--colouring and labelling the states on a map and practising mentally to name them or locate them on a blank map

11:00 - Free choice
-art, Garage Band, guitar in his room, piano (with headphones), German, or other educational, OR spend time with nearly 3yo

11:45 - lunch time for us all, followed by at least 15 minutes of silent reading

~12:30 - free choice of activities, as long as it doesn't bother those who are working (meaning, Joe and most likely dd)

So, it's nothing super heavy, but provides a structure to give a sense of, "Hey, this is work time." If I had the luxury of simply presenting lessons throughout the morning, I would, but I don't! Joe is likely to go completely off track. That's an area to definitely work on this year: developing focus and independence in work. It's not that he can't--he does it now and then when he has an idea of something he wants to be able to do that day but I say work comes first. It's developing the habit of doing it. (Oooooh, there's Charlotte Mason again.)

For Joe, here's what I've come up with:

8:45 - ELA part 1 (handwriting, spelling, phonics/oral reading)--so, really, three different activities during that time
9:10 - Math part 1 (continue with the trig, or pick a different unit; if trig, do at least half of the questions)
9:45 - collective break
10:00 - science -- first assignment for environment unit
11:00 - mini-break followed by Math part 2
11:45 - lunch and silent reading
~12:30 - ELA part 2 (work on chapter 1 analysis--I have a sheet for him to fill out; and listen to up to 30 minutes of the novel)
1:30+ - discuss diploma; if going ahead, start social studies! Discussion topic--could last 30-45 minutes

Done for Monday.

If he is going to go for the diploma, we'll have to have at least a few days each week where he works until at least 2:30. I am busy with a class Wednesday afternoons, and Friday afternoons are usually off, so I guess that means the other days will be work afternoons for him.

On other thoughts: I thought about how his education is more than just the academic subjects he's covering. I've requested "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens"--the only copies available right now from the library were on CD, so we can put it on during lunch hour or something; at the same time, it saves me from having to sit down and read! I also know I need to start building in learning strategies with him. He was doing some copywork last Friday and he complained about something. I asked a few questions and basically, it turned out he had no strategy whatsoever for copying the words. "Are you reading the words before copying?" "No." Ach. He's been trying to copy letters at a time. That's not at all helpful! And it's very hard. No wonder he hates copying!!! I'd like to find various resources on learning strategies to mix with our work during the school year. We do have access to an online course, but it seems to assume basic strategies are already in place--it gets right into taking notes and time management. I need something more basic than that for now.

I'd also really like to do the Socratic Logic this year, or get started on it--I think it'll be interesting and I think Joe could benefit from some logic training! :)

I did plan for dd, too, but just a list of things for her to do, requiring that she work on French, math, science and social studies tomorrow. She is good at picking something and just getting to work, so no need of a schedule for her. She would love and fit in well with a Montessori Erdkinder!

1 comment:

  1. We incorporate lots of Charlotte Mason into our Montessori homeschool. In that setting I think they blend very nicely. One of the things I find is that it is more difficult for a child to be fully intuned to a self directed work period without the role model of upper students. The older students don't get the chance to be youngest. I find I need to give my oldest a certain amount of direction, even if I don't share with him the nicely laid out plan!